Picking up a book for the first time

I probably haven’t read a book for fun for at least a decade if not more. Too much partying and other activities going on (studying for exams too, I suppose, but it never took that much time out of my social life).

Now that I live a healthy lifestyle, I find myself pretty bored. Sitting in front of the TV when I’m free just doesn’t cut it. Also, I’m running out of good shows, so I end up watching crap.

I’m thinking about reading again, but I know how hard it is for me to get into a good book.

I need recommendations. Some of my preferences:

  1. Easy to get into. The easier the better. Need to be exciting from the first chapter.
  2. Not a lot of made up names or shit please. This applies to sci fi and fantasies mostly. I can’t keep track of new words.

Otherwise, no real limitations on genre.
But maybe a nice suspense (thriller/detective) to start could be nice.

Raymond Chandler or Dashiel Hammet detective stories.

Dash Hammet created Sam Spade (Maltese Falcon) and The Thin Man

Chandler created Philip Marlowe (The Big Sleep)

“hard boiled” detective fiction. Decent pace and stories.

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Michael Crichton novels. Science based, but all set in a contemporary setting.

(Except Great Train Robbery and Eaters of the Dead)

All fast-paced and engaging storylines.

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The Alfred Hitchcok anthologies. Bunch of short stories compliled by Hitchcock.

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Any suspenseful supernatural books? I’m thinking about The Outsider (I think stephen king?) because I liked the show. Or, maybe saying supernatural is spoiling it for myself. I’d rather it be unknown.

But not ghost stories. I do live alone.

ETA: actually ghost stories are fine. I need more excitement in my life

Personal favorites:

Anything by Pat Conroy (particularly Beach Music)
Thriller / Detective stuff: Joseph Wambaugh / Nelson DeMille / Jack Reacher series / Scott Turow

Others I have enjoyed (last 20 years)
Water For Elephants (Gruen)
The Kite Runner (Hosseini)
The Poisonwood Bible (Kingolver)
Pillars Of The Earth (Follett) (I also like his older spy stuff)
The Historian (Kostova)

From my past
To Kill A Mockingbird
In Cold Blood
The Princess Bride
On The Waterfront / The Harder They Fall (Budd Schulberg)

I also read a lot of Clancy, King & Crichton - but not sure they match your criteria

I think King probably matches my criteria. But less gore, more suspense.


Misery (violence, not gore (that I remember))
The Shining
11/22/63 - different than his others
Dr Sleep - well done sequel to the Shining

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How different is the shining from the movie? If there’s a good amount of difference I’ll read it, and follow it up with Dr Sleep.

I also read all the Anne Rice books
Interview With The Vampire - to start
and The Historian I mentioned above is also a well written Vampire story
Let The Right One In - was a better movie (particularly Swedish) than a book

Crichton - Andromeda Strain a long time favorite.
You have the Jurassic Park books
He also gets away from SciFi with Rising Sun (political thriller)

Quite different, as it develops.

I believe there was a made for TV movie that was closer to the book

Dr. Sleep is better if you know the book version as opposed to the movie - BUT King wrote it knowing many only would know the movie

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I remember liking the Arsene Lupin series growing up.

Is that something Americans read? I read the chinese translations.

Or is that mainly for kids.

You might like the Bone Doll’s Twin by Lynn Flewelling. It’s the first in a completed Trilogy written in the early 2000s.

Graphic Novel?

I think I have seen a movie from the 30’s and an Anime from the 70’s

Never read them, didn’t really know the source material

No, just words I’m pretty sure. He crosses paths with Sherlock Holmes. They’re supposedly on equal footing in terms of wit. He’s more of a “bad” guy, or maybe does bad things to do good.

Isn’t Lupin sort of a do good master thief from France? I haven’t read the books but I think Netflix maybe or possibly Amazon had a Lupin related show that was pretty good. At least the first season was but I can’t recall if we remembered to watch the 2nd season or if it had been released.


I find Robert Ludlum books (Bourne Identity) very intense and exciting to read. The Bourne book series (at least the original trilogy) is really good.

Have you tried the Follett trilogy from the same period?

Eye Of The Needle, Key To Rebecca & Triple?

You might find several of the stories King did under “Richard Bachman” to be fun reads.

My favorite is The Running Man (pretty different from the movie, to be sure).

Would you consider Frank Herbert’s Dune?

What about “historical fiction”? I’ll have to look up the name, but there’s some pretty good Arthurian Legend books out there.